The Student Playlist

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REVIEW: Orlando Weeks – ‘A Quickening’ (P.I.A.S.)


In a sentence:

Dwelling on the anxieties of imminent parenthood, former Maccabees lead singer Orlando Weeks’ debut solo album ‘A Quickening’ is a compelling listen.

When The Maccabees split up in 2017, Orlando Weeks wasn’t in a great hurry to start out on his own. He moved to Berlin then Lisbon to enjoy life and wait for inspiration. That inspiration came when he found out he was going to become a father, and that experience is the basis for his debut solo album, A Quickening.

Music video for ‘Blood Sugar’

A Quickening is a very soft and gentle record, and, in some ways, it would be a pretty good record to put on to help you sleep at night. That is not to say the album is boring – in fact, it’s very interesting, although anyone who isn’t a parent won’t necessarily be able to relate to the exact experiences he describes. All but one of the songs on The Quickening concern the pre-birth weeks, and cover subjects like pre-natal appointments and going shopping for baby clothes. You can sense how Weeks is feeling in these songs. ‘Safe In Sound’ covers the anxiety of waiting for the baby to be born and the fear that something might go wrong, while ‘Blood Sugar’ is a song about being kept up at night with worry about what is to come. The exception is the opening track, ‘Milk Breath’, inspired by Weeks watching his newborn child sleep and how peaceful they seem in that moment and how reassured he is by that.

Music video for ‘Safe In Sound’

A Quickening is a very reflective experience, and one that a lot of people who have had children, or are expecting one, will find something to relate to and feel reassured that the feelings and anxieties they experience are shared by others. For anyone else, it’s still nice to hear the subject discussed in a way I hadn’t come across before, so for that Orlando Weeks deserves a lot of credit. Another plus point of A Quickening – for many – is that there is no mention of politics or COVID-19, so you can listen to it and forget all about everything else for half hour or so. (6/10) (David Allsop)

Listen to A Quickening by Orlando Weeks here via Spotify, and tell us what you think below!

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